Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Peregrine Falcon Chicks have Fledged

Update on the Peregrine Falcon Chick at Tufts: It appears as if the chick has both a fractured mandible and hip so will obviously be at Tufts for a while and depending upon the duration of its stay it will either be re-released to its family and siblings or taken to a raptor rehabilitation to learn the skills it will need to be a wild bird (migration in winter, hunting, etc.).

The three remaining chicks have all fledged which is rather nerve racking considering what happened to the little guy so Emily and I watch with a mixture of wonder and dread as they fly about downtown Worcester.

The parents are always nearby and I have seen the female put on some pretty impressive aerial displays and very uncharacteristic of her usual flight style.
Including gliding through the air with nothing but grace and no wing beats even to ascend further into the sky.
While the pictures didn't come out great, I wanted to share them with you to give you an example of what I see. Loved this picture because it looks somewhat like a Northern Goshawk to me, minus the pointed wing on the left.
She would fly around the area making graceful loops as the chicks would be perched and watch.
Soon enough one would take to the air as I got my camera ready and watched with excitement and dread because it would be coming closer to my building where all of the windows are and where falcon chicks of the past have had fatal encounters with them.
It would fly above me and toward the top of the building so I decided to head up there to see if I could spot it.
I wouldn't see any chicks, but dad was there and keeping an eye on them from this vantage point.
He would give me his usual casual stare and then go back to the serious business of chick sitting.
I would look all around downtown Worcester to see if I could spot them which is a task in itself considering the vast landscape one can see this high. The picture above will give you an idea. The area of the building I am at in this picture was home to the Plaza Club way back when and it was a very fancy restaurant back in the 70s and 80s when business people would come up here for dinner and cocktails and get some fantastic views of the city, especially at night when the city of Worcester would look magical all lit up from every angle.
Another view.
There would be another chick near a parking garage stretching its wings and preening.
What was funny about this is directly below it are nesting House Sparrows who were in a panic that the falcon found this spot to be cozy. I would watch the scenario with my binoculars as the sparrows would make a mad dash to the nest (probably feeding nestlings) and the falcon actually peeked its head down to watch it for himself which caused the parents to freak out! So funny to see and see the size comparison as the sparrows flew out and around the nest in a panic.
Soon enough the falcon got tired of the sparrows and took to the air to practice flying.
Another shot of him. While it is wonderful to see them finally take to the air, I am a nervous wreck and will feel much better once they have gotten a little more practice and I just hope they learn real quick the difference between the sky and windows.

Take care all.


NCmountainwoman said...

How lucky you are to witness these marvelous birds. Thanks for sharing the great photographs.

Chris Petrak said...

I knew I was behind in my blog reading but did not realize how far behind. I been wondering about the peregrines in Worcester and now find that they fledged young in early June. Your proximity to these birds is wonderful, but it does make me jealous. My views of peregrines are usually brief as they fly rapidly overhead during migration. But there they are outside your window.


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